SPIN Alternative Record Guide (1995) Top 100 Alternative Albums (1-50)

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Most of these hold up really well

A Madonna greatest hits collection seems like an odd, but also oddly forward looking inclusion for a 1995 Alternative Record Guide

Evan R, Monday, 13 March 2017 15:05 (nine months ago) Permalink

Maybe beyond the scope of this conversation, but when did Murmur become the critical consensus "must-have" R.E.M.? Most people seem to prefer Reckoning, which is a richer, more representative album, but the lists always default to Murmur

Evan R, Monday, 13 March 2017 15:07 (nine months ago) Permalink

Since micci0 doesn't post here any more, I'll have to be the guy who points out that the Madonna GH was only given an 8 and knocked in the write-up for not having truncated, non-12-inch versions to fit it all on a single disc.

Whiney G. Weingarten, Monday, 13 March 2017 15:14 (nine months ago) Permalink

Murmur has been a consensus pick since the end of the 80s at least. xp

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Monday, 13 March 2017 15:21 (nine months ago) Permalink

I prefer Wild Planet to the debut, but since that's not here I'll vote for the first B's album. I'M NOT NO LIMBURGER!!

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Monday, 13 March 2017 15:23 (nine months ago) Permalink

the same guy (Sheffield) who reviewed PSB also said their comp was OK and gave it a 7 or 8.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 March 2017 15:24 (nine months ago) Permalink

can't fuck with the #17-27 sequence:

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 March 2017 15:25 (nine months ago) Permalink

Thought for sure I had this, but apparently not. Madonna, Lucinda Williams, and Flying Burrito Brothers seem like a real stretch (is this list included in the book?)...One of the two VU albums for me.

clemenza, Monday, 13 March 2017 15:26 (nine months ago) Permalink

This book changed my musical life, no joke. It sent me from new rock alternative radio to madly buying crazy old records in no time.

This has to be between Public Image and X-Ray Spex for me, but there are tons of other albums on the list that I love just slightly less.

Milkwalker's World (Old Lunch), Monday, 13 March 2017 15:29 (nine months ago) Permalink

Murmur has been a consensus pick since the end of the 80s at least. xp

If not since the very beginning, it was so instantly lionized. It's a great album but it feels like nobody bothered to update the canon for the next 34 years

Evan R, Monday, 13 March 2017 15:30 (nine months ago) Permalink

13	Funkadelic	One nation under a groove	1978

Good on them.

insidious assymetrical weapons (Eric H.), Monday, 13 March 2017 15:30 (nine months ago) Permalink

Yeah, being 15 when this dropped, it def informed my taste, for better or worse.

My top 3 of all time (Nation of Millions, Double Nickels, Ramones) are all here & appx. 40% of my Number 4 (Raising Hell)

Whiney G. Weingarten, Monday, 13 March 2017 15:31 (nine months ago) Permalink

This book changed my musical life, no joke

mine too, especially anything written by Weisbard (Wire, Pere Ubu, Feelies).

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 March 2017 15:31 (nine months ago) Permalink

Probably my No. 5 and 6 too if they had picked the right X and Beasties albums

Whiney G. Weingarten, Monday, 13 March 2017 15:31 (nine months ago) Permalink

Whiney, is Tribe in the bottom 50? I'm pretty sure it also got a 10.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 March 2017 15:32 (nine months ago) Permalink

I never had any of the SPIN books, but several editions of the Trouser Press guide. This is all foreign to me.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Monday, 13 March 2017 15:35 (nine months ago) Permalink

My favourites are probably Loveless and The Ramones. There's nothing I dislike on here.

jmm, Monday, 13 March 2017 15:36 (nine months ago) Permalink

It's a bit light on 60s music.

jmm, Monday, 13 March 2017 15:37 (nine months ago) Permalink

think i may be the only ilxor who actually contributed to this book (cabaret voltaire)

mark s, Monday, 13 March 2017 15:38 (nine months ago) Permalink

Yeah, Tribe is in the bottom 50

Whiney G. Weingarten, Monday, 13 March 2017 15:39 (nine months ago) Permalink

It's a bit light on 60s music.

A necessary corrective.

insidious assymetrical weapons (Eric H.), Monday, 13 March 2017 15:39 (nine months ago) Permalink

I was happy Human League and Culture Club got their due. The King Sunny Ade and Fela entries also excellent intros.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 March 2017 15:40 (nine months ago) Permalink

amazing list. voting loveless

k3vin k., Monday, 13 March 2017 15:40 (nine months ago) Permalink

Re: the Sixties, I put this together during my time at SPIN and you can read it on their dogshit new list design

http://www.spin.com/2013/03/best-100-albums-1960s-sixties-alternative-list/

Whiney G. Weingarten, Monday, 13 March 2017 15:46 (nine months ago) Permalink

I never had any of the SPIN books, but several editions of the Trouser Press guide. This is all foreign to me.

― Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Monday, March 13, 2017 10:35 AM (nineteen minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I discovered the Trouser Press '90s alternative guide probably a few months after the Spin book, and then discovered CMJ a few months after that. It was all over from there.

Milkwalker's World (Old Lunch), Monday, 13 March 2017 15:57 (nine months ago) Permalink

4 Hüsker Dü - Zen arcade (1984)

Not my pick, but this band - and esp this album - kind of towered over 80s/90s American indie & alternative. Wonder if it'd even make top 50 on similar list put together today.

Not raving but drooling (contenderizer), Monday, 13 March 2017 16:02 (nine months ago) Permalink

Yes.

Rachel Luther Queen (DJP), Monday, 13 March 2017 16:02 (nine months ago) Permalink

my least favorite major Husker album; prefer FYW.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 March 2017 16:03 (nine months ago) Permalink

I like it a lot & understand why it's the representative HD album, but it & they don't seem to be held in quite the same esteem these days.

Not raving but drooling (contenderizer), Monday, 13 March 2017 16:10 (nine months ago) Permalink

think i may be the only ilxor who actually contributed to this book (cabaret voltaire)

― mark s Hi Mark, Frank K and Chuck E are in there too; maybe John D as well? Seems like there's somebody else. The Top 100 was less useful to me than the deep and sometimes complete discographies (incl. the most noteworthy bootlegs, in several cases) for so many artists, esp. when the internet was so bereft, and other reference books likely to be found were more all-inclusive yet limited by one man's taste and time (xgau's duh) or Boomercentric like those Rolling Stone guides (revising their original kneejerking vs. Stooges, Sabs, for that matter Joplin, and many others later elevated). I didn't agree with every opinion of course, but plenty of info and enjoyable writing.

dow, Monday, 13 March 2017 16:35 (nine months ago) Permalink

Don't like the idea of voting for a singles collection, but Run DMC Together Forever is flawless

Evan R, Monday, 13 March 2017 16:37 (nine months ago) Permalink

Don't like the idea of voting for a singles collection, but Run DMC Together Forever is flawless

― Evan R, Monday, March 13, 2017 12:37 PM (fourteen minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Run-DMC is one of my favorite bands of all time, but I'll definitely count "Here's a solo from my homeboy Stanley Brown" as a flaw

Whiney G. Weingarten, Monday, 13 March 2017 16:54 (nine months ago) Permalink

lol fair enough

Evan R, Monday, 13 March 2017 16:56 (nine months ago) Permalink

haha, i bought that guide at the time and registered an ilm account a couple of years later...

too many great albums. "loveless", "crazy rhythms", "another green world" and "velvet underground" are the ones i could niot live without. deciding between them is like killing all your babies except one, absolutely impossible. therefore no vote from me.

it's the distortion, stupid! (alex in mainhattan), Monday, 13 March 2017 16:58 (nine months ago) Permalink

Tonight's the Night for me.

nomar, Monday, 13 March 2017 16:58 (nine months ago) Permalink

come the fuck on people

24 Prince Sign o the times 1987

I'm not even saying everyone needs to vote for it but for it not even to have come up yet in the conversation is ridiculous.

Rachel Luther Queen (DJP), Monday, 13 March 2017 17:00 (nine months ago) Permalink

Pretty much all good albums, but I don't really get how they are defining "alternative" here. Like Madonna's greatest hits are hardly alt.

Moodles, Monday, 13 March 2017 17:02 (nine months ago) Permalink

I know it's Controversy-al, but SoTT is my least favorite (although still very good) of a solid run of Prince albums that otherwise remain entrenched in my all-time top 100.

Milkwalker's World (Old Lunch), Monday, 13 March 2017 17:04 (nine months ago) Permalink

Pretty much all good albums, but I don't really get how they are defining "alternative" here. Like Madonna's greatest hits are hardly alt.

― Moodles, Monday, March 13, 2017 1:02 PM (three minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I can't hold your hand through this, used copy is $10

https://www.amazon.com/Spin-Alternative-Record-Guide-Weisbard/dp/0679755748

Whiney G. Weingarten, Monday, 13 March 2017 17:06 (nine months ago) Permalink

Pretty much all good albums, but I don't really get how they are defining "alternative" here. Like Madonna's greatest hits are hardly alt.

― Moodles, Monday, March 13, 2017 1:02 PM

Weisbard's introduction addresses this. One of his points is how subcultural phenomena like Madonna or gradations of queerness (Culture Club, also pop) change mainstream tastes.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 March 2017 17:07 (nine months ago) Permalink

Besides which, Hootie and the Blowfish was played on alternative stations in the '90s so it's not as if we'd collectively agreed on any hard and fast criteria.

Milkwalker's World (Old Lunch), Monday, 13 March 2017 17:12 (nine months ago) Permalink

the first Pretenders album is still woefully under appreciated - flawless collection of songs. James Honeyman-Scott was an extraordinary guitarist. such a fucking shame what happened to them

flappy bird, Monday, 13 March 2017 17:22 (nine months ago) Permalink

sub-conversation, what's the WORST album on this list. Probably Pavement or Hole

Whiney G. Weingarten, Monday, 13 March 2017 17:25 (nine months ago) Permalink

I just voted for Hole.

how's life, Monday, 13 March 2017 17:26 (nine months ago) Permalink

I'mma get pummelled but Double Nickels is my least favorite on the list. I've never been able to get into it.

Milkwalker's World (Old Lunch), Monday, 13 March 2017 17:28 (nine months ago) Permalink

what's the WORST album on this list

it's Hole by a considerable margin

Οὖτις, Monday, 13 March 2017 17:29 (nine months ago) Permalink

oooooooooOOHHHHHHHHHH !!!!!!

actually it's Modern Lovers

flappy bird, Monday, 13 March 2017 17:31 (nine months ago) Permalink

hi don, yeah i guess i meant current ilxors but i was just stirring the water a bit really to see who else might be here

lol at shakey and his transsparent hared of courtney love

(siren seems an odd roxy music lp to land on)

mark s, Monday, 13 March 2017 17:31 (nine months ago) Permalink

it's the remains of America's hesitation to canonize Roxy; for a while it was the only album American critics rated, which is why Rob's calling it their best surprises me, especially after his intro paragraph

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 March 2017 17:34 (nine months ago) Permalink

miles' electric period might not have been so universally beloved in the 80s-90s as it is now

it was

Not raving but drooling (contenderizer), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 16:08 (nine months ago) Permalink

Mark S is right, this period was largely forgotten in the alt 90s in fact one of the things that first drew me to ILM ca 2004 was the love for NYC punk funk no wave my jam and personal inspiration/obsession

Dogshit Critic (m coleman), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 16:14 (nine months ago) Permalink

I reviewed a big CD reissue of 70s Miles in the late 90s and got the idea that people still didn't quite know how to process something like Agharta or He Loved Him Madly. #directionsinmusic

Dogshit Critic (m coleman), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 16:19 (nine months ago) Permalink

greg tate was writing about it all in the late 80s

(the wire was also but i had sight of our sales figures so i know we were not exactly shifting the scales any)

mark s, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 16:21 (nine months ago) Permalink

Think this may be partly a US/UK difference - Soulwax reissued Liquid Liquid in the 1990s, SoulJazz reissued ESG same sort of time, so they def weren't ignored or forgotten groups in Britain (ESG had also been spun a lot at the Hacienda).

Bernie Lugg (Ward Fowler), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 16:21 (nine months ago) Permalink

Beastie Boys/Luscious Jackson were hyping ESG at the height of the Grand Royal era. LJ used to cover ESG stuff live.

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 17:07 (nine months ago) Permalink

my intro to Miles' electric/funk period was a huge retrospective in Motorbooty, doesn't get any more 90s alt than that

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 17:08 (nine months ago) Permalink

hmm iirc Bitches Brew was the only Jazz album on that Rolling Stone Best 100 Albums of the Past 20 Years list in '87. Maybe Miles was too much of a token artist for SPIN at that point.

duped and used by my worst Miss U (President Keyes), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 17:13 (nine months ago) Permalink

Miles was also cited by aural auteurs of the DJ-producer persuasion (mostly in Wire but still) re the cutnpaste flow, never mind the turntables----do we really think his electric music made less of a widespread, sometimes deep impression on musos and other listeners of the 90s than the guys who did get in, than Bailey and Zorn, say? C'mon, it's a gap. But maybe the Miles reviewer didn't make deadline either,

dow, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 17:57 (nine months ago) Permalink

why is the complete on the corner session box like $200 now

Whiney G. Weingarten, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 17:58 (nine months ago) Permalink

I would kill for every back issue of Motorbooty.

Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 18:00 (nine months ago) Permalink

Christgau wrote about Dark Magus, Panthalassa, and Black Beauty in the late '90s; it's how I learned about the first album.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 18:00 (nine months ago) Permalink

xpost Ridiculous box, if it's the one I heard: goes way past anything relevant to the original LP, just because he was recording so much in the same time frame. xxpost It's not like Miles don't and didn't get no respect plenty of elsewheres, but having all those electric albums in the Guide might have been a revelation to some, and handy to more.

dow, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 18:02 (nine months ago) Permalink

Yeah xgau covered Miles pretty well, incl. the comeback.

dow, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 18:03 (nine months ago) Permalink

why is the complete on the corner session box like $200 now

― Whiney G. Weingarten, Wednesday, March 15, 2017 1:58 PM (five minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

bc it's out of print iirc

marcos, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 18:04 (nine months ago) Permalink

Ridiculous box, if it's the one I heard: goes way past anything relevant to the original LP, just because he was recording so much in the same time frame

otm, the material from these sessions got issued across like four albums iirc

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 18:06 (nine months ago) Permalink

Right, and four distinctly different albums!

dow, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 18:07 (nine months ago) Permalink

columbia does all this cool miles stuff that immediately goes out of print

https://www.discogs.com/Miles-Davis-The-Complete-Columbia-Album-Collection/release/2019307

Whiney G. Weingarten, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 18:08 (nine months ago) Permalink

Prob cos Miles heads already have all or as much of that stuff as they can afford, and then some.

dow, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 18:12 (nine months ago) Permalink

Columbia can then backdoor sell the deleted Complete dognose where (Russia, Japan?)

dow, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 18:13 (nine months ago) Permalink

The oligarchs prob already got it all also.

dow, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 18:13 (nine months ago) Permalink

Columbia used to reissue the metal-spine Miles boxes as much cheaper longbox-shaped sets. But the On the Corner set apparently didn't sell well enough to justify a cheaper reissue (and it was prohibitively expensive when it was in print, iirc).

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 19:59 (nine months ago) Permalink

yeah, a few of those sets could be had for very cheap at some point (maybe still) but things like OTC and the cellar door tapes never got a cheaper reissue afaik. which is lame.

tylerw, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 20:13 (nine months ago) Permalink

I have that miles columbia box, whiney

Odysseus, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 20:14 (nine months ago) Permalink

i do regret not buying the OTC box and the other ones but I couldnt afford it. I only have the in a silent way box. The complete columbia only has the actual albums

Odysseus, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 20:18 (nine months ago) Permalink

I would kill for every back issue of Motorbooty.

― Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Wednesday, March 15, 2017 11:00 AM (two hours ago)

twice, even

Not raving but drooling (contenderizer), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 20:43 (nine months ago) Permalink

big chief were kind of bad tho

Not raving but drooling (contenderizer), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 20:44 (nine months ago) Permalink

OTC box is definitely the best one imo

marcos, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 20:53 (nine months ago) Permalink

Big Chief is a bit like Kyuss in what they were doing kinda fit more to the late 90s than when the records were actually coming out. The guitar playing and riffs on those Big Chief records are great. They are one of those bands I liked much more years later and have listened to them quite a bit the past few years.

earlnash, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 21:23 (nine months ago) Permalink

Big Chief definitely fits along side the stoner rock bands like Fu Manchu, Clutch, Kyuss etc. than the grunge bands.

earlnash, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 21:25 (nine months ago) Permalink

I fucking loved Big Chief!

Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 21:35 (nine months ago) Permalink

re: big chief

i dug the early singles ("chrome helmet", "get down & double check", "time dirt money", the surprisingly good "superstupid" cover), but the albums were relatively short on punk energy & hooks. and the fake blaxploitation shtick never sat right. prescient in retrospect, tho.

Not raving but drooling (contenderizer), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 21:47 (nine months ago) Permalink

four weeks pass...

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Wednesday, 12 April 2017 00:01 (eight months ago) Permalink

So unfucking fair to have to (with Whiney's Glock at my head) vote for just one, but: VU & Nico---what other has such range & depth, groovy toons & scary sounds incl. some of the words etc., so limber & locked etc.? And even if there are several, can't vote for more than one, but mention 'em anyway.

dow, Wednesday, 12 April 2017 00:25 (eight months ago) Permalink

VU & Nico---what other has such range & depth, groovy toons & scary sounds incl. some of the words etc., so limber & locked etc.?

It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back?

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 12 April 2017 00:29 (eight months ago) Permalink

I hear young ppl aren't feeling that one

duped and used by my worst Miss U (President Keyes), Wednesday, 12 April 2017 12:49 (eight months ago) Permalink

If I could pick more than one, I'd pick that (not being burdened with youth).

dow, Wednesday, 12 April 2017 18:14 (eight months ago) Permalink

But before it, maybe one not quite so testosterone-(almost?)-only.

dow, Wednesday, 12 April 2017 18:17 (eight months ago) Permalink

nation of millions or 3ft high.

pandemic, Wednesday, 12 April 2017 18:24 (eight months ago) Permalink

Second Johnny Fever's preference of Wild Planet.
Overrated: Mekons Fear and whiskey. Does anyone actually listen to the Mekons? Zzz.

campreverb, Wednesday, 12 April 2017 18:46 (eight months ago) Permalink

I still like Fear and Whiskey, esp. as the main part of their Original Sin round-up. Also really enjoy their 2016 album Existentialism, which is rough and slick in all the right ways.

dow, Wednesday, 12 April 2017 19:28 (eight months ago) Permalink

where is Third Eye Blind's first record?

Van Horn Street, Wednesday, 12 April 2017 22:45 (eight months ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Thursday, 13 April 2017 00:01 (eight months ago) Permalink

damn! What a spread!

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 13 April 2017 00:26 (eight months ago) Permalink

lmao i think i was the winning vote for zen arcade

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Thursday, 13 April 2017 00:29 (eight months ago) Permalink

was Shoot Out the Lights even discussed upthread

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 13 April 2017 00:30 (eight months ago) Permalink

I wish it had been. Shoot Out the Lights is a great album.

banjoboy, Thursday, 13 April 2017 02:12 (eight months ago) Permalink

glad to see Murmur do so well.

Van Horn Street, Thursday, 13 April 2017 02:28 (eight months ago) Permalink

Shoot Out the Lights is one of hose albums I've introduced to friends, and they've responded "Dammmmmn" but tend to forget it when naming their favorite albums.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 13 April 2017 02:44 (eight months ago) Permalink

*those

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 13 April 2017 02:44 (eight months ago) Permalink


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